Meatful Monday #5: Carnivore Week Four, the Final Review

So, it looks like my month-long Carnivore Diet experiment is coming to an end. Like many experiments, the results were…interesting. In short, it did not go as expected. You may ask, “Why experiment when you know it won’t go as planned?” Well…

Even though I did not achieve the amazing results that I’d read about and hoped for, I believe my Carnivore experiment was and will be worth it based on what I’ve learned. Maybe that’s the point of such experiments, the research, the learning, the new understanding that comes from trying something new.

Not as Expected…

Imagine starting your day feeling great. You grab your favorite coffee, or hot chocolate, and continue working on an important assignment or vital project. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, it’s the Friday before a long weekend or a vacation, and it’s payday; it doesn’t get much better than that. But, in one moment, you’re optimistic, happy, and in the next, you spill said non-removable beverage all over said million dollar project. The day started of with so much promise, but now, you’re just all pissed off.

That was me after Week 1. I was feeling pretty good, and then came Week 2.

  • Week 1 went so well probably because of the removal of food items that my body dislikes, even though they are considered “healthy”. That, and the (re)introduction of foods rich in nutrients that I was apparently missing made for a good week all around, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
  • But by the middle of Week 2, the addition of such high quantities of animal fat and protein became a problem because before my Carnivore Diet experiment, I ate comparatively little of either. I ate an adequate amount of meat, some animal fat in the form of occasional cheese, and of course the fat included in the meat, but that was nothing even close to this. As a result, my body was not able to properly process the higher intake and adapt as quickly as it has to leaner animal protein, and fats such as organic avocado oil and organic olive oil.
  • Also, it took me until the end of Week 2 to realize I needed much more electrolytes than I’d been getting. I’ve been salting my water for years and though I increased the amount of sea salt and other minerals, I needed more.

Admittedly, I was (am) a bit disappointed Carnivore Diet didn’t work out all that great for me. I followed the plan at a 95% to 99% level, but alas, no joy. Even so, I did learn several important lessons through the disappointment.

The Takaways…

I experienced many “light bulb moments” over the past several weeks. What I learned and what I will do with what I learned are the reasons for such an experiment. Whether things had gone according to expectations or not, the knowledge gained would have been and is the most important thing. Now as the experiment ends, it’s time to put that knowledge into practice.

  1. I need to eat more meat and animal fat. No, not more than I’ve eaten over the past month ’cause that’s probably not even possible. I mean, more meat and animal fat than I ate pre-Carnivore. Going forward, I plan to keep one meal fully or at least 90% Carnivore. I will also continue to incorporate grass-fed butter and grass-fed beef tallow into my meals as well.
  2. While I already use a good digestive enzyme, I’m researching to add one specifically designed for those dense animal protein and higher animal fat, Carnivore meals.
  3. Digestive health is complex and of utmost importance to overall health and well-being. I realized more attention needs to be given not just to the health of the gut itself, but also to the health of the other organs involved in the digestion process.
  4. I will also make adjustments to increase my daily intake of electrolytes, especially after teaching / training workouts. This, including the two type of magnesium I currently use, ionic magnesium and magnesium glycinate, a chelated multi-mineral supplement, and the Redmond Real Salt, along with targeted use of SOS Electrolyte Drink Mix added to my water have already proven to be very helpful.
  5. Though I can still only make educated guesses as to why I can eat eggs now, they will remain on the menu.
  6. I have “rediscovered” bacon, real bacon, and real grass-fed butter!

The Path Ahead…

adventure beautiful boardwalk bridge

My dietary path is clearer than ever now. I guess I would call my new eating plan sort of a hybrid Paleo-Carnivore-Keto model with a dash of Intermittent Fasting. I’m also going to greatly reduce or cut out altogether even those “healthy foods that are high in anti-nutrients. Yes, I’m looking at you almond milk, and you too, almond butter…

What’s up for this Week?

Now that’s more like it!

My Carnivore experiment officially ends today, March 15th. On Tuesday the 16th, I will begin the process of reintroducing some of the foods or supplements that I cut out for the past month. I’m absolutely looking forward to flavor, texture, and even aromatic variety again. It may take a couple of weeks for my system to get back to optimum, but it will have been worth the journey. And I’m guessing it will take a few weeks for my house and clothes, and garage, not to smell like a diner any more. Yes, a diner, an albeit tasty, home-cookin’ diner where bacon grease flows like milk and honey, but a diner nonetheless!

Final Analysis…

photo of person deriving formula on white board

Would I recommend the Carnivore Diet to friends or family? Because everybody’s body (and mind) is different, I rarely recommend any specific dietary plan to anyone. I simply suggest they take a look, do the research and / or talk with their doc about any plan. This way, they can determine for themselves if the potential benefits are enough to justify the work and drastic changes.

Of the dietary experiments I’ve tried through the years, I’d say this one was probably the simplest. I mean, it doesn’t get much easier than answering the questions of what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with: meat and animal fat. At the same time, Carnivore was also probably the most challenging in terms of adaptation. Overall, on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 being “Not at all worth it,” and 5 being “Do it now and forever!”, I’d give my personal experience with Carnivore and the potential of what could be gained a solid 4. If I’d had more bacon, and if maple bacon was allowed on Carnivore, I would have given it a 7. Yes, 7 out of 5 all the way.

Here’s to failed experiments that lead us to better discoveries!


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